MVP Football Preview Excerpt:
A look at Division V, Region 19 and what to expect this season. We look
at the top teams, players and offer up our playoff predicitons. Who has what? And what will they do?
JJHuddle’s Region 19 Previews and Predictions
TEAMS TO WATCH
Wynford (10-1, D-VI R21 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – OL/DE Paul Hartschuh (6-1, 200, sr.), QB/DB Zach Chatlain (6-3, 210, sr.,), RB/LB Luke Miller (5-10, 195, sr.), WR/LB Seth Rall (6-3, 210, sr.), TE/DE Jerad Butler (6-5, 200, sr.), OL/DE John Miller (6-4, 215, sr.), WR/DB Nate Brown (5-10, 170, sr.), OL TJ Frazier (5-8, 215, sr.), TE/DE Taran Stuckman (6-2, 170, sr.), P Wes Dennison (5-10, 170, sr.), DL David Byrne (5-10, 290, jr.), RB/DB Adam Hartz (5-9, 170, jr.), LB Garrett Shutler (5-9, 170, jr.)
* Outlook – The Royals, led by head coach Travis Moyer (105-27 in 12 years), own the state’s longest current regular season winning streak (48 games) and have been to the postseason six straight seasons. Both streaks should continue. Chatlain is one of the state’s top small school two-way players having accounted for over 2,500 total yards and 35 TDs last season in addition to registering 77 tackles and four INTs. Rall is a two-way talent in his own right (385 receiving yards, four TDs, 55 tackles). Defense will be a key for Wynford, which welcomes back Luke Miller (62 tackles), Butler (53 tackles, eight sacks), John Miller (56 tackles), Brown (33 tackles), Byrne (38 tackles), Hartz (30 tackles) and Shutler (73 tackles).
Alexander (8-3, D-IV R15 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – DL Mike Douglas (6-3, 275, sr.), OL Tyler Davis (6-5, 275, sr.), QB/LB Trey Bennett (6-0, 198, sr.), FB/LB Chris Grant (6-1, 205, jr.), RB Benton Milum (5-6, 155, jr.), WR Gage Miller (6-1, 180, jr.), LB Jacob Harvey (6-1, 220, so.)
* Outlook – The Spartans have made back-to-back playoff appearances and head coach Sean Arno (sixth season) says expectations remain high. Bennett and Douglas were first team TVC and All-Southeast District last year.
Fredericktown (13-1, D-V State Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – RB Matt Smith (5-10, 200, jr.), OL/DL Josh Neff (6-3, 260, sr.), FB/LB Cody McGuire (5-10, 190, sr.), RB/LB Joey Burns (6-0, 180, sr.), WR/DB Nash Cunningham (6-1, 170, sr.), DB/WR Brandon Helmick (5-10, 160, sr.), QB Ryan Logan (6-5, 195, jr.)
* Outlook – The Freddies are looking for their third straight 10-0 regular season and have the talent to pull it off. Although Fredericktown lost 13 seniors from last year’s roster, it returns a ton – especially at the skill positions. Smith ran for 2,238 yards and 27 TDs last year, while Logan threw for 600 yards and eight TDs. Neff is a two-way talent and defensively the Freddies are stacked with the return of McGuire (121 tackles, four sacks), Burns (60 tackles, four sacks), Cunningham (39 tackles, two INTs) and Helmick (38 tackles, three INTs). The first three weeks Fredericktown faces Sparta Highland, Columbus Ready and Ashland Crestview in non-league games.
Ridgewood (10-1, D-V R19 Quarterfinalist)
* Players to Watch – FB/DE Trent Lingo (5-11, 210, sr.), QB/DB Chris Saylor (6-1, 170, sr.), TE/DE Evan Jones (6-6, 245, sr.), RB/LB Jake Ziegler (6-0, 190, sr.), WR/DB Brian McElhaney (5-11, 175, sr.), WR/DB Dakota Albertson (6-0, 175, sr.)
* Outlook – The Generals have been to the postseson eight years in a row and look to make it nine. Jones is a Michigan State commit and leads a very talented senior class. According to head coach John Slusser (59-9 in six years) depth is a small concern. New non-league foes include Waynedale, Martins Ferry and Liberty Center.
Oak Hill (11-1, D-V R19 Finalist)
* Players to Watch – LB Devon Davis (6-0, 190, jr.), DL Curtis Fairchild (6-2, 280, sr.)
* Outlook – The Oaks are coming off back-to-back playoff appearances (only two in school history) and will look to keep the trend going despite losing a talented senior class and their head coach (Greg Phillips now at St. Marys). New head coach Randy Homa (former assistant) takes over.
Lucasville Valley (8-2)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Blake Yates (6-3, 175, sr.)
* Outlook – In search of their first playoff berth since 2005, the Indians will ride Yates who completed 84-of-130 passes for 1,337 yards, 22 TDs and no interceptions last year. He also ran for 487 yards and seven TDs on 56 carries and intercepted four passes on defense (returned one for a TD).
Wheelersburg (9-3, D-V R 19 Semifinalist)
* Players to Watch – QB/DB Alex Shears (6-1, 180, sr.)
* Outlook – The Pirates have made the postseason 23 times and four straight. Wheelersburg will again be dangerous with Shears at the control. Shears will be a four-year letterman who threw for 1,072 yards and 13 TDs and ran for 523 yards and seven TDs last year. He also made 42 tackles on defense and had two INTs.
KEEP AN EYE ON
* Jeromesville Hillsdale (11-2, D-V R18 Finalist) – The Falcons
are in the midst of their greatest football run ever. Coming off two
straight playoff berths (the only one’s in school history) can they make
it again? Senior DL Sam Young (6-3, 205) is a good one.
* Nelsonville-York (8-3, D-V R19 Quarterfinalist) – The Buckeyes who become a playoff regular (six berths in eight years). N-Y has a solid senior nucleus back in WR/DB Daniel Kline (6-4, 205), QB/K Nathan Dean (5-10, 190) and RB/DB Dustin Young (n/a).
* Loudonville (4-6) – Head coach Don Wilson returns for his fourth season (13-17) and is looking for seniors TE Tim Weber (6-0, 194), RB Christian Leightenberger (5-9, 165), RB/DB Cody Debo (5-10, 155), QB Nate Scarberry (5-10, 175), OL/DL Jake Arnholt (5-10, 225) and WR/DB Mason Harper (6-2, 185) to make key contributions. Junior OL Austin Carey (6-2, 260) and sophomore RB/LB Craig Henderson (6-0, 215) are ones to watch.
* Portsmouth West (8-3, D-IV R15 Quarterfinalist) – The Senators have made the postseason two of the last three years. West is solid upfront with senior linemen Cody Bricker (6-2, 285), Kyle Auger (5-11, 170), Adam Newman (6-0, 295) and Conway Cooper (6-3, 255).
* Grandview Heights (6-4) – According to head coach Jason Peters (17-23 in four years): “We turned a corner last year, now it is up to these seniors to push down the straight-away.” Those seniors include QB/DB Oliver Rouch (6-1, 195), RB/LB Jason Franks (6-0, 215), OL/DL Joe Anderson (6-1, 235) and OL/DL Carter Jump (6-2, 215). Juniors Payton Jones (5-10, 165, RB/DB) and Andy Treasure (6-3, 225, OL/LB) will contribute.
* Dawson-Bryant (9-3, D-V R19 Quarterfinalist) – After a 13-year absence, the Hornets have been to the playoffs back-to-back years.
ALSO IN THIS REGION
Sugar Grove Berne Union (3-7), Bucyrus (6-4), Cardington-Lincoln (6-4), Centerburg (3-7), Columbus Academy (5-5), Ashland Crestview (5-5), Crooksville (6-4), East Knox (3-7), Federal Hocking (1-9), Liberty Union (6-4), Mount Gilead (3-7), Northmor (1-9), Rittman (5-5), Ironton Rock Hill (2-8), Smithville (2-8), Waynedale (2-8)
Dark Horses: Alexander, Smithville